Staying At Home: Tech Solutions
From my home office, I’ve been scanning the web over the past few days to collect tips and resources for designers, illustrators, and self-employed creatives during the Covid-19 outbreak, or Coronavirus as it is known. While it’s a scary time, it’s also heartening to see so many projects, initiatives, Zoom meet-ups, and open-source Google docs organised by the design community to keep spirits high and money flowing.
Below, you’ll find our selection of tips for supporting and nourishing the creative community, finding remote jobs, working from home, and generally keeping your sanity while social distancing at home. Stay safe everyone ❤️.
Support freelance artists, small presses, booksellers, small type foundries, and more:
- Support independent foundries, and discover new, cutting-edge fonts. We love getting lost in the list of indie foundries on Type.lol.
- Purchase fonts-in-progress and nurture the practices of up-and-coming type designers and students via the platform Future Fonts.
- Get under a blanket and order a bundle of alternative comics from publishers like Breakdown Press, Nieves Books, Samandal, and Koyama Press.
- Support the Indies in Harrogate; too many Small business will go out of business because of the Pandemic.
- Now’s also the time to order that illustrated print you’ve had your eye on. We’ve been loving the Risograph designs sold via the web store Stinky’s Riso Press. And if you’ve had a zine idea in the drawer, why not finally make it a reality and print it with these small scale printers, too?
- As a part of your efforts to support indie bookstores, consider financially supporting booksellers; Imagined Things, the beloved Harrogate institution, has just (temporarily🤞) closed their doors due to Coronavirus.
- Don’t buy books from Amazon; instead, support your local bookstores by shopping online through indie shops, like Imagined Things & Destination Venus.
- Purchase gift cards from your favourite book, design, and comic shops.
- Subscribe to Stack for ongoing support of independent magazines, delivered straight to your door.
- If you want to go a step further and donate your skills, you could design merch for your favourite bars, restaurants, or small businesses that are currently closed. Or, if you’re savvy at social media, lend your design skills and know-how to a local, small business less familiar with online marketing, and help them transition their business to a delivery service. You could also volunteer with Designers to Combat COVID-19.
- Donate your home computer’s down-time to COVID-19 research by downloading and running crowdsourced distributed computing platform [email protected].
Find jobs + save money:
- Students can now register for free access to Adobe’s Creative Cloud through May 2020. Here’s more information on how it works.
- Take a deep dive through this comprehensive artist resource list, which includes opportunities and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines.
- Scan this spreadsheet by Word of Mouth that lists interdisciplinary, remote-friendly employers. Here’s another list of established remote companies.
- Follow AIGA’s weekly Design Jobs listings, which is actively sourcing and flagging remote positions, too.
- For anyone running your own business, HMRC is dragging their heels but things are starting to be done for Freelancers – keep an eye on the telly. I am not an accountant; they will be able to advise you better.
- Take a look through the Remote Design Kit google doc, a crowdsourced resource for designers to get work related to the coronavirus outbreak.
- Scan a few jobs boards creating specifically for remote designers, such as Remote Design Jobs, Design Remotely, and Working Nomads.
- If you’re in a hiring position, or are able to commission a freelancer right now, consider hiring an individual.
- Take a look through this handy resource list, Help for Designers and Businesses, from the Type Director’s Club.
Collaborate—but at a distance:
- Educators can read the great resources for remote collaboration and learning organised in this handy Google Doc by Teaching Design.
- Educators can also reference this list of remote teaching resources compiled by AIGA.
- Or join the GoneViral Slack started by Zach Lieberman for design educators sharing resources, tips, and experiences while shifting to remote learning.
- Harvard Business Review’s explainer for collaborating remotely is helpful (and the animation is pretty nice to boot).
- If you’re finding it hard to transition to remote work, take a look at these tips for setting up a virtual workspace.
- Carly Ayres is organising digital coffee chats between design students/recent grads and practicing designers. If you’re interested in being paired up (from either side) comment on her Twitter thread.
- This list of ways to maintain productivity and counteract loneliness while working at home is useful, courtesy of Lecture in Progress.
- Tune in to IxDA’s ‘The Shape of Remote Design Work’ panel discussion on Thursday, March 26.
- Or join one of The Great Discontent’s online potlucks—a great way to connect with other creatives remotely.
- The Coronavirus Tech Handbook has extensive resources for working from home, including a guide for remote managing. You can even join the handbook’s WhatsApp group to stay connected.
- Follow along with Patrick Thomas’s real-time collaboration platform OpenCollab, which allows designers to create artwork together virtually. The next real-time collaboration session is fully booked, but keep watching the space for future sessions!
Teach yourself a new skill:
- Learn all about variable fonts and how to design them with this very handy Variable Fonts Primer.
- AIGA members at the Sustaining level will receive 40% off an annual premium subscription to Skillshare. New AIGA members, at any level, receive 2 months free.
- Proof, generate, and animate fonts all night with Dinamo’s Font Gauntlet.
- Discover new design tools to play with via this, this, and this are.na channel.
- Watch live talks by designers and creatives that are streaming on Instagram via @LiveTalkFrom, a new design handle intending to “fight quarantine, boredom and, most importantly, to instill hope.”
- Tune into Adobe’s Creative Summit on March 31, which will now be online and free.
- Similarly, this year’s Adobe 99U Conference will be online and free. Stay tuned for more details and information on how you can attend.
- If you’ve been itching to get into animation, why not submit a clip to Hellavision Television? The video-zine’s current call for entries asks for animations themed “Cursed/Blessed.”
- Brush up on your business know-how: Online business coaching service The Role Model Way is offering its “Artist Business and Goals Roadmap Course” for free during the COVID19 period.
- Learn how to make your own mask with MaskOnCollective (but remember, masks don’t protect, they can only reduce the risk of infecting others).
- Create your own artwork encouraging others to stay at home, wash their hands, stop hoarding at the supermarket, or keep a 2 metre distance to others.
- Follow along with Wendy MacNaughton’s Instagram Live drawing class for kids at 5pm every day.
- Get lost in Graphic Design Readings’s compilation of design essays past and present.
- Join in with Good Day Club’s #quarantineartclub.
- The entire issue three of LCC’s A Line Which Forms A Volume, by MA students of graphic design, is currently available to be read online—and includes interviews with Evening Class and Anja Kaiser.
- Dive into the weird and wonderful world of online comics. We’d recommend starting and escaping with Tillie Walden’s endless, gorgeous space adventure, On a Sunbeam.
- Watch all of Gary Hustwit’s documentaries at home and online for free during the COVID-19 crisis.
- And then watch Making Faces: Metal Type in the 21st Century for free, a glimpse into the creative process of the late Canadian graphic artist Jim Rimmer.
- Check out Virtual MOCA, which has daily online arts programming to help all of us connect during this moment of physical distance.
I am lucky in that I have been working in my pyjamas for years, quarantine is an extension of my daily day. Normally Mrs Backhouse goes to work, walking dogs in Harrogate, and I am left to my own devices. I am trying to give you suggestions – to designers and lay people – the best way to cope with living in quarantine. You get used to it. So, please remember to wash them hands and keep 2m from me if you see me in ASDA. Thanks for reading.